Home Memphis, the birthplace of Rock N’ Roll and the #1 place for Barbeque in the US, Shelby County has much more to offer. With a vibrant and rich culture and history that expands past Memphis city limits, you are bound find something for the entire family to enjoy. Whether it’s shopping Parade Magazine’s Best Main Street in Collierville, exploring the oldest home in the county at Davies Manor Plantation, or eating the best fried chicken at Gus’s you are going to love Shelby County. So come take a Day Trip in Shelby County.
Shelby County’s best-kept secret, Arlington has remained a small quiet rural town for over 2 centuries. Originally named Haysville, this town was founded in the 1830’s and changed names in 1883 to Arlington by Captain Henry Pitman, who was inspired by Arlington Cemetery in Washington, DC. After the Civil War, Arlington began to grow and develop into a vibrant railroad town. Formerly home to Memphis destination of the Ohio-Memphis Railroad, many of the businesses, homes and restaurants still remain.
Come visit this best-kept secrets small town charm. Head over to Depot Square, the heart of Arlington, where there is an array of shops to explore and historic buildings to see!Learn more
This 1807 plantation home is perhaps the oldest building in all of West Tennessee. It sits on a designated Century Farm, and is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat. The property includes a Native American mound dating back 2,000 years. Closed Sun. & Mon.Learn more
Stop and enjoy this charming square, lined with independently owned local businesses like coffee shops, restaurants and bookstores. In the center, you’ll find Confederate Park, with its sidewalks laid out to form a Confederate flag. Visit the log cabin here: it’s an 1851 stage coach rest stop. Walking Tour maps are available from the Main Street Collierville office in the historic Train Depot.Learn more
With more than 60 miles of trails and sidewalks, this system connects Collierville’s parks, schools, neighborhoods, and commercial districts offering recreation in a natural setting. Start exploring at W.C. Johnson Park where you’ll find natural areas, wetlands, three lakes, elevated boardwalk (.70 miles), a 9-field baseball/softball complex, and multipurpose fields.Learn more
This is believed to be the third depot located in Collierville since the Memphis-Charleston Railroad was originally chartered in 1852. Today, the depot is the office for Main Street Collierville, a non-profit group that preserves the area. Pick up a Collierville Historic District Walking Tour brochure here.Learn more
Nestled among the large magnolia trees from which it received its name, this is the final resting place for Civil War soldiers, unknown soldiers and victims of the yellow fever epidemic of the 1870s.Learn more
On your way to Rossville, you’ll pass this marker for one of America’s eminent blues artists, born in Rossville in 1904. His style was rooted in the Delta blues tradition with a signature bottleneck guitar technique. “I make the guitar say what I say,” said McDowell. “If I play ‘Amazing Grace,’ it’ll sing that too.” His influence spread beyond blues to gospel and popular artists.Learn more
The Avenue offers a dynamic mix of premier national retailers, select local merchants and specialty restaurants in an open-air, pedestrian-friendly setting.Learn more
For over 25 years, locals have known that this is the place for hickory-smoked, slow-cooked, Memphis-style BBQ and ribs. Voted one of the Top 10 U.S. BBQ Restaurants by Playboy magazine.cals know this is the place for hickory-smoked, slow-cooked, Memphis-style BBQ and ribs. Voted one of the “Top 10 US BBQ Restaurants” by Playboy Magazine.
2290 Germantown Road
Germantown, TN 38138
This was the site of a Civil War fort built by the Union Army to guard the Memphis-Charleston Railroad, a vital Confederate supply route. The site is marked by Howitzer cannon replicas. Listed in The National Register of Historic Places, Fort Germantown is now a quiet neighborhood park.Learn more
Find this 1868 Memphis-Charleston Railroad depot in Old Germantown, situated on high ground where the area’s first settlers made their homes. Today, it’s home to the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, and houses a great collection of railroad memorabilia. Notice the markers identifying the original buildings and sites.Learn more
Pumpkins – October; Christmas Trees and greenery, hayrides and train rides – Thankgiving-Christams Eve.Learn more
This is the only soul music museum in the world. It sits on the site of the original Stax Records, the studio where music icons like Isaac Hayes, Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, Otis Reding and other recorded career-launching hits.Learn more
The blues are alive and well today on historic Beale Street. Dance to the music of live bands in open-air W. C. Handy Park, or spend a night sliding in and out of its famous spots. From 2nd to 3rd Streets, Beale Street is closed to vehicles. Park and walk to see the attractions, restaurants, shops, clubs and museums.
Here are a few highlights:
B.B. King’s Blues Club: This Beale Street original features live music nightly. It’s open for lunch, dinner and late-night entertainment.
Blues City General Store: Find the perfect Memphis souvenir here.
King’s Palace: Stop at this cozy little joint for jazz and Southern delicacies.
A. Schwab Dry Goods Store: This Memphis landmark features merchandise from old time candies to undergarments, hoodoo potions to rain gear. “If you can’t find it at Schwab’s, you’re probably better off without it.”
Silky O’Sullivan’s: It’s always St. Patrick’s Day in this 100-year-old saloon. Grab a Hurricane and visit the “Irish Diving Goats.”
Alfred’s: Great food, live music and the best dance floor on Beale.
Withers Collection Museum & Gallery: Freelance African American photographer and Memphis native Dr. Ernest C. Withers is famous for his black and white images of the segregated South, the Civil Rights Movement, Memphis music and Negro League baseball.
W.C. Handy House Museum: Moved here from its original South Memphis location, this museum houses the desk where the Father of the Blues wrote his greatest hits.
Ground Zero Blues Club: Get a taste of the Delta blues and BBQ at this restaurant, co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman.Learn more
Beale Street Landing is a modern docking facility to safely embark on a riverboat journey, a restaurant for casual dining and an open civic space that closely connects people to the Mississippi River. Managed by the Riverfront Development Corporation.Learn more
Visit the remains of a prehistoric village found during a 1940 swimming pool excavation inside T.O. Fuller State Park. Tour the museum and preserved archaeological dig to learn more about the Chucalissa people – the original Memphi residents – through their pottery, dwellings, weapons, jewelry, and tools. This National Historic Landmark gives you a glimpse into the Mississippian villages Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto and his party encountered when they arrived near Memphis in mid-1500s.Learn more
Visit this museum in the historic Memphis Cotton Exchange, once the very center of the global cotton trade. Learn about how this simple crop shaped America’s economy, culture, and history, and take the self-guided tour of Cotton Row, the historic block surrounding the museumLearn more
Visit the legendary Fire Engine House No.1 and learn about all things flame. From exploring turn-of-the-century, horse-drawn fire wagons to fighting the simulated flames from a burning skyscraper, you’ll find interactive exhibits and much more at this hot attraction.Learn more
Walk in the footsteps of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll while enjoying video, photos, personal mementos, movie memorabilia, stage costumes and more. Tour Elvis’ home, Graceland Mansion, on an audio-guided tour featuring commentary and stories by Elvis and his daughter, Lisa Marie. Explore the Elvis Car Museum, Elvis’ custom jets and Elvis’ Hawaii, a new exhibit for 2013. Don’t miss the on-site restaurants and Elvis gift shops.Learn more
Take a 90-minute sightseeing cruise on the Mississippi led by a “Riverlorian,” providing live historical commentary. As entertaining as it is educational, you’ll see the river through the eyes of Native Americans, settlers, soldiers, and boatmen. Dinner & music cruises are also available.Learn more
This exhibition about the birth of rock and soul music was created by the Smithsonian Institution and tells the story of musical pioneers who overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world.Learn more
Climb aboard a restored vintage trolley car for an unforgettable trip along the mighty Mississippi River and downtown Memphis. The Main Street Line follows the original mule-drawn trolley; the Riverfront Loop travels a breathtaking stretch of the river.Learn more
This 100-year-old zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species. Visit giant pandas Ya Ya and Le Le, the Once Upon a Farm exhibit, and the Teton Trek featuring grizzly bears, elk and timber wolves. Covering 70 acres in the middle of Overton Park, this wild experience is just minutes from downtown Memphis.Learn more
This small, shaded park is connected to the South Bluff with a pedestrian bridge. Check out the stone lookout point.
Enjoy this city park located on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff, the former site of the Civil War’s Confederate Fort Pickering as well as home to earthen mounds created by pre-historic people.
This park features shade trees and a great overlook, as well as many memorials, plaques, and historical markers, including a statue and memorial to Civil War Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Get a great view of the I-55 bridge from the gravel road through this small, shaded city park.
Bring your camera for great views of the Mississippi River and Mud Island, and take the learning path to explore the riverbank’s plants and wildlife as well as Civil War and Memphis History.
This city park and memorial within are dedicated to Memphians who risked their lives to stay in the city, tending the sick and burying the dead during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878. From here, catch great views of the Mississippi River.
This low-lying park is long and spacious, with open lawns as well as tall shade trees, perfect for jogging or biking alongside the Mississippi River.
Spanning a mile and a half, this park has great views of the river and is the site of Memphis in May, the city’s famous BBQ contest, and other festivals throughout the year. It’s name for Tom Lee, a man who saved 32 people from a sinking steamboat in the 1920s, despite his inability to swim.
Take in the incredible views atop the Mississippi River bluffs at this pair of beautifully landscaped parks.
This museum gives you a rare opportunity to not only view works of art in metal, but allows you to see them being made as well. Learn more about the art of metalwork, sculpture to jewelry, contemporary to antique, at the only U.S. institution of its kind.Learn more
Housed in The Lorraine Motel, the assassination site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., this award-winning museum brings the American Civil Rights Movement to life. Exhibits focus on landmark events like the Montgomery bus boycott and the Memphis sanitation strike, as well as more recent struggles and achievements following King’s death. Audio tours available. Guided tours with advance request.Learn more
Trace Memphis’ development from the time of Spanish explorers through the Civil War and the deadly yellow fever epidemics. The museum also hosts a number of touring exhibits throughout the year.Learn more
Pose for great photo memories here with bronze statues of Elvis Presley and B.B. King on the shores of the mighty Mississippi, as you prepare to head out on the Great River Road. Pick up info about area attractions, discount coupons for restaurants and hotels, and get the inside scoop on local events.Learn more
This 1849 clapboard house served as a way station on the Underground Railroad, a secret series of hiding places for runaway slaves seeking freedom in the North and Canada. Take the tour and visit the hidden tunnels, trap doors, and cellars where slaves waited for their chance to escape to the Mississippi River on their way to the next secret stop. The house is furnished with period pieces and slavery artifacts. Hours vary; call ahead for information.Learn more
A lively, artsy neighborhood in the heart of downtown Memphis, the South Main Historic Arts District is home to some of the most important cultural attractions in Memphis. The National Civil Rights Museum, the Orpheum Theater, and historic Central Station are all in the area. Hip restaurants and boutiques as well as cutting-edge art galleries complete the scene, making South Main an attractive place to locals and visitors alike.
Here are a few highlights:
The Arcade Restaurant: An historic diner serving downtown since 1919, The Arcade is Memphis’ oldest restaurant.
Ernestine & Hazel’s: Enjoy a “Soul Burger” and some live Memphis music at one of the city’s favorite dives.
WEVL 89.9 FM: Drop by the studio of the Mid-South’s only listener-supported, independent, volunteer radio station. Tune in at 89.9 FM or stream live from wevl.org
Trolley Nights: Take the trolley for a free ride to the shops, restaurants and galleries in the area – 6 pm to 9 pm the last Friday of every month all year, come rain or shine. Otherwise, the fare is $1 or $3.50 for a daily passLearn more
Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio is ground zero for rock ‘n’ roll’s explosion onto the world statge. Literally packed with memorabilia, the “Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll” lets you hear historical outtakes and even touch Elvis’ first microphone. Experience the stories that put legends like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and others on the map.Learn more
This 1,100-acre state park, located within the Memphis city limits, offers camping, hiking and picnicking. Birdwatchers and wildlife lovers will be right at home here. This was the first state park east of the Mississippi to be open to African-Americans, and only the second in the U.S.; it is named for Thomas O. Fuller, who made educating African-Americans his life’s work.Learn more
This is the spot where the Jones Orchard jams, jellies, and relishes are made in small batches from fruit grown on the nearby farm. Stop in for a home-cooked meal and a jar of jelly to take home.Learn more
Over 13,000 acres atop the third Chickasaw Bluff are yours to explore in this scenic state park in the bottomland hardwood forest. Take a break among the oak, cypress, and tupelo trees to fish, hike, picnic, or enjoy the wildlife for a day or overnight camping and vacation cabins are available. Don’t miss the nature center on Piersol Lake, the oldest man-made lake in the state; you’ll find hands-on exhibits and come face to face with some of the park’s wildlife.Learn more
Just 14 miles north of Memphis, this country winery produces award-winning wines. Stop in to taste reds, whites, ports and fruit wines, and spend time in the peaceful countryside. From April through October, catch live outdoor concerts most Sunday afternoons.Learn more
Stop by this charming market for fresh-made biscuits and world-famous cheeseburgers, live music on weekends and an authentic general store experience. This is the kind of place where locals gather for coffee on the front porch, and its also a favorite hangout of Millington’s famous son, musician/actor Justin Timberlake.Learn more